I first started coming across recipes that used preserved lemons like this dish for a Moroccan tagine with preserved lemons and olives, about this time last year. The idea of preserved lemons was very intriguing and I just had to try them. Since I was not able to find any preserved lemons I finally decided to just make some myself and my first batch was ready to try. Olives are a food that I really enjoy but I rarely seem to cook with them so this dish was on the top of my list of recipes to try using the preserved lemons. Besides, it was the perfect excuse to pick up some nice quality olives to snack on at the same time. To top it all off this dish is braised so the chickens juices drip into the sauce and all of the flavours have a good chance to mingle and get to know each other including those amazing Moroccan spices.
This dish takes a little bit of time and effort, but not too much, and it is well worth it. The Moroccan chicken tagine with olives and lemon preserves turned out really well! Everything mixed together to form a tasty symphony of flavour in your mouth. Every time I try a dish with a Moroccan spice blend I am liking them more and more. I don't normally use so many spices in a single dish but the Moroccan spice blends seem to work really well. I really liked the touch of heat that the harissa brought to the table and the sweetness of the honey balanced it out well. The preserved lemon peel had a nice texture and really brought the lemon flavour to the dish. Overall I really enjoyed this dish and I look forward to enjoying the leftovers.
I now have a jar and a half of preserved lemons and I would certainly like to hear how you enjoy your preserved lemons.
Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Olives and Preserved Lemons(makes 4 servings)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch saffron
salt and pepper to taste
1 whole chicken (cut into 8 pieces, or chicken thighs or breasts)
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion (sliced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 teaspoon ginger (grated)
1/2 cup water (or chicken stock)
1 preserved lemon (pith removed, and peel rinsed and sliced)
1 cup olives
1 tablespoon harissa
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
1. Mix the paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, saffron, salt and pepper and rub it into the chicken.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat add the chicken and brown on all sides and set aside.
3. Add the onion, and saute for 3 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
5. Add the water, chicken, preserved lemon, olives, harissa and honey, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
6. Remove from heat and mix in the parsley and cilantro.
Slow Cooker: Optionally implement steps 1-4, place everything except the parsley and cilantro in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-10 hours or high for 2-4 hours before adding the parsley and cilantro and turning off the heat.
Note: You will probably want to go easy on the salt as the lemons are preserved in a lot of salt and the olives are pretty salty as well.
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